tv BBC World News America PBS August 24, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
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>> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america." reporting from the libyan capital tripoli. gunfire in parts of the capital today as colonel gaddafi's loyalists to keep up the fight. >> they just stormed back in and they are now firing rockets. you can hear one going in now. >> where is the libyan leader? a huge county is offered for anyone who captures him, dead or alive. >> the rebels have the upper hand. what does that really mean for the future of libya and its people?
>> welcome to tripoli. it is the day after the rebels stormed the compound of colonel gaddafi. today was the date where some parts of the city exploded, literally, in celebration. rebels paraded through the streets. proclaiming that libya is free. but it is not quite yet. in other parts of the city, there was heavy fighting colonel gaddafi's loyalists were firing mortars into the compound. this is a city of uncertainty and celebration at the same time. it is much the same outside of the capital. today's battle, and yesterday's battle for that compound was a decisive one.
>> as we enter the compound, it is obvious there is still fighting going on. has noty's liberation cleared all of the die-hard loyalists out. this is about to get a lot more intense. the rebels were driven back out this morning, back out to the altar wall. they just stormed back in. they are now firing rockets and the middle of the compound. you can hear one going in now. let's go. [gunfire] [shouting]
once again, the assumption that the fighting is over is premature. gaddafi's compound is a fortress with tunnels and bunkers. this man believes that gaddafi is hiding underground. do you think he is still somewhere in here? >> i think gaddafi is here. there are lots of tunnels. he built it for this day. running away from people, you know. until gaddafi is found, but some here still not will not -- some will not dare to believe that his dictatorship is over. when will you feel free? >> i can say, i am a man.
>> down on the seashore, we caught a glimpse inside the life of the gaddafi camp. this is the summer house of his son. in one bedroom, we found tens of thousands of pounds worth of designer clothing and shoes. >> these are expensive things here. this is the problem. this is what the revolution happened. >> seeing this will confirm what the libyans already expected. the gaddafi, and lived a life of luxury. until they are caught, this revolution will not be over. >> that is one of the big questions. where is colonel gaddafi? is he still in tripoli? there is a big bounty on his head. 1 million pound has been offered for anyone to capture some data are alive. it is a message aimed at his
inner circle. a hunch is going on for the colonel may be somewhere in this country. -- a. hunt is going on for the colonel, who may be somewhere in this country. >> they step on his image, but they cannot hunt him down. >> i will do all i can to find him. to catch him. to judge him. to put him in a cage. >> a pro-gaddafi tv channel is still trying to rally his troops, even as rebels overran his compound. from the man himself, and other audio message full of defiance and religion. >> i call unalterable the residents, young, old, -- i call on all of the tripoli residents to put an end to the traders and
put them out of our city. >> he even claimed to have walked incognito and the capitol, where today we found many areas deserted and lifeless. some believe he may be below ground in a bunker. others that he fled tripoli for his hometown. it is clear that colonel gaddafi can never rule the streets again. he has an iron grip on this city and this country for more than 40 years. that has left its mark. even now, after everything that has happened, some are still afraid to speak about him. by the seashore, some were escaping the attention. we approached three families here. none were prepared to be interviewed. that we meant professionals to spend half their time in britain and you are not afraid to revel in libya's new date. >> i am thinking about my
children. i am thinking about the future of my children. the future freedom. there is no future before. >> of the children of the gaddafi era are finding a new voice. >> we started speaking freely to each other. we could actually mentioned gaddafi other than that, we have all been speaking in science. -- in signs, and not directly. >> the square becomes a place of celebration. forever colonel gaddafi may be hiding, he cannot and do this. -- undo this. >> it is clear that the vast majority of tripoli is now in rebel hands. it is clear that there are still
some armed gaddafi loyalists and supporters that are still determined to put up a last stand for their leader. the areas are becoming safer. including the luxury hotel, where some 30 foreigners have been trapped there for the past few days. it included our correspondent, matthew price. >> we have been held inside the 200-sq meter compound, which was possibly one of the few bits of tripoli that is still under gaddafi control. we had no idea that this was going on in the city. the tvs have been off. the satellite is all gone. we had no idea that tripoli was like this. the reason we were still in the hotel is that we had two gunmen, loyal to colonel gaddafi, who still believe that the city
could be won by colonel gaddafi's forces. they said they had been ordered by colonel gaddafi's son to keep us inside and said. it is remarkable that they still believe all of that. >> as the not physically close to run the hotel, europe lump -- your own personal safety must have been paramount importance. were there times when you. the worst? >> the government minders just left. a few more men with guns, the guy who ran the foreign press service walked around the corridors with an ak-47 he said that if it came to it, he would defend his country. it was the next day that was the most frightening. there were gunmen in the hotel
that we had never seen before. they left us alone, but as the power cut links and, we had no washing board, we started stockpiling the food and water supplies. there were times when we wondered if they gaddafi supporters had been fed this diet, the media, they are the real enemy because they are the ones to support the rebel cause. we wondered if our lives were at risk because of that. clearly, we were being seen on one side of the conflict. >> it has been another extraordinary day in the libyan capital. it is an historic moment in this country. more details are emerging on how the rebels were able to enter the city and dominated so quickly. there was a campaign, they were
helped by nato. soldiers were trained specially to come into the city. their battle is almost one, but not completely. we will keep an eye on it. for now, i will hand you back to the studio. >> you have been in and out of libya in the course of the six months. after being in tripoli for the last day, what is the mood? [inaudible] >> it looks like we have lost her. we will try to get back to her later on. with all eyes on libya, the pentagon says they were keeping an eye on the countries known chemical weapon at sword fights. they believe they are secure.
for more on the u.s. position, i am joined from the state department. let's start with those weapons of mass destruction that libya has. how does it -- how much does the u.s. know about them and where they are right now? >> it is something that we have been concerned with over the course of this conflict. we have been working with dick transitional national council -- we have been working with the transitional national council. now that the rebels are in tripoli, we continue to keep an eye on those stockpiles. >> what is it that worries the u.s. most? mustard gas supplies, uranium
supplies, what are you concerned about? >> with al delving too deeply into intelligence matters, at -- without delving too deeply into intelligence matters, we are concerned about the damage of these kinds of weapons that remain in libya. we are monitoring the stockpiles. we are working with the transitional national council, you have been extremely helpful in working with us and trying to identify where these weapons are. >> can you tell me a little bit more about working with the national transitional council? there are existing treaties with libya that were enforced since 2003 when gaddafi renounced its nuclear program. what are you doing to ensure that the treaties are upheld? >> what we are doing with the transitional national council and non-government
organizations is working to identify some of the stockpiles and to take care of them. in terms of what remains in libya, there are certain areas that we are concerned about. we are monitoring them closely. let's talk a little bit about the financing. is that the kind of funding that you think is going to help this transition process? america is not in the position to come out -- come up with financing of the town. >> you are right. we are seeking to free up about $1 billion in the so-called frozen assets. these are assets that fell under u.s. sanctions in the early days of the violence that erupted and was carried out by gaddafi's regime. we are seeking to free up these funds. we are working with the
transitional national council. there is a meeting today and there will be a meeting tomorrow of the contact group in istanbul. we will get a better sense of the needs going forward. as they began to set forth a road map for this transitional period in. >> international law makes the ice age looks like a speeded up process. they are going to need this money now. >> precisely. one of the things that we are working on is how to speed this process up. we have been working on it for the last couple of weeks. we are trying to accelerate the process within the u.s. sanctions committee. if that does not work, we will look at other methods. >> do you know where gaddafi is? give me the scope. >> we really do not know where he is.
what is absolutely clear is that his time in libya is done. he needs to relinquish power and allow a democratic transition to take place. >> as soon as you find out, you will tell us. thank you so much for joining us from the state department. >> you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come, the fighting may not be over in tripoli, we look forward to see what the future of libya might hold. [gunfire] -- >> libya's new rulers certainly need cash to kickstart reconstruction and in nation shattered by six months of civil war. analysts said the first priority is getting hold of a few billion
dollars. >> the immediate priority for the transitional national council is to get their hands on liquid assets, such as cash. they need to pay public sector salaries and pay for food and fuel and imports. libya is on the road towards becoming a humanitarian catastrophe. >> this early phase of money will come in the form of grants and loans. for the longer term, libya must rebuild its industry. crude exports usually account for 80% of government revenues. it can also call on funds released by the unfreezing of the assets that they gaddafi regime held abroad. abstinence range as high -- estimates range as high as $170 billion.
some equal to half that amount is held in britain. further large sums are believed to be in germany and the netherlands. while there is no shortage of funds for the longer term, getting libya back on its feet will not be easy. a donors meeting is the start of a long road ahead for libya. >> we will get back to our libya coverage in just a moment. a quick look at other news. a russian cargo spacecraft carrying supplies has failed to reach the international space station. are unconfirmed reports say it crashed in siberia after blasting off.
hurricane irene has strength into a major category 3 storm. it brought strong wind and rain to the dominican republic. forecasters say that it could become a hurricane -- a category 4 hurricane. kim jong-il hazmat president medvedev in siberia and there has been no word on what it will decide. returning now to our top story. the hunt continues for muammar gaddafi. in tripoli, there are scenes of celebration on its reports of continued fighting. during the now to discuss the developments is u.s. congressman from new york. he serves on the house foreign affairs committee.
thank you for coming in. the extraordinary events happening in libya. the white house is very keen to say, america has a strong interest. we have a strong interest in what happens in libya. why? >> i think we should have learned a lesson from what happened in iraq. the american forces were successful and gave way to anarchy and everything else. hopefully, we have learned a lesson from that. it is important because nato decided to get involved because gaddafi was murdering his own people. i think the involvement of nato spirit and a lot of lives. now we need to make sure that it comes out right. that the libyan people get their aspirations, that does not turn into a situation where a group sees as the country.
we have to really learn. >> america does not trade very much with libya at all. what is the u.s. interest? >> the world is shrinking. i do not think what goes on any part of the world is not important or does not affect the rest of us. particularly in the arab world. but like the egyptian people to have their say in how they want to run their country. not have to be hijacked by radical islamist or anybody else. we want the same thing in libya. but the iranian revolution, it started off well and then a certain crude grab a hold of it. we do not want that to happen in libya. we do not want to happen anywhere. it has a spillover effect. >> what should the united states
do to make sure that things in libya turn now the way to the u.s. wants? the history of u.s. involvement in the middle east is not good. >> this situation is gone to the mark -- this administration is gone to be more cautious than the previous administration. the united states is in a position to help the libyans by providing technical expertise, political support, trying to mobilize financial and regional support. the immediate challenge is to restore order to the city. the next few days are gone to be crucial because they will determine the shape of things to come in libya. just as the crucial days shape the future of iraq at that time. >> ok. what exactly is the u.s. corn to be offering the transitional
government and libya -- going to be offering the transitional government in libya? >> whatever we do will be in conjunction with our nato allies. i think we will try to increase the assets, try to get them as much money as possible. i hope we do not make the same mistakes that we made in iraq. i think this has to be a coming together of all sides. saddam hussein's people were pushed aside and not allowed to function in the new government. there was all kinds of feelings of rejection and rivalry. we should not make the kind of mistakes. we should utilize the council's in the bringing of democracy to libya. >> the rebels have been supported by nato operations. that means that this will be a pro-western government that emerges out of the revolution?
>> it should be pro-libya first and foremost. libya should be a country that respects international law. they should not do the things that gaddafi did. he was enlisted maker all over the region. -- he was a mischief maker all over the region. gaddafi was of the regime. his fall means the whole regime fell with them. all of the talents and libyan people were underground or killed. you need to rebuild the state. i do not see anti-western feeling among the people. i do not see a future of civil war. it is not a divided country like
afghanistan or iraq. they have a lot of money. and frozen assets. the turks provide some badly needed cash to pay the civil service. that is what you need to do. >> ok. thank you very much for joining us. this is a very tricky time in libya. u.s. and international involvement is gone to be key to the transition. this brings us to the end of today's broadcast. you can find constant development of those dramatic events unfolding on our website. keep in touch with me and most of the team on twitter. thank you for watching.
>> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses